The Super's House
Biggest House in the Mill Village
Almost everyday I drive by a now vacant lot that is well maintained by the owner of the old Tuxedo Community Store. The grass is now green and well groomed. Many times when I drive by this lot my memory returns to the time when I was a child and the now vacant lot was the site of the Super's house. Those of you who have followed my posts know I grew up in a cotton mill village during the 1950's and my dad was a textile worker. Dad worked his entire career in that cotton mill and retired at the age of 70.
The house that stood on that parcel was the mill Super's home and was one of the nicest in Tuxedo. The owners of the Green River Mill had built this house and over the course of my youth I knew the Super's who lived in the house and their families. Cotton mill workers were looked down upon by many who lived in the neighboring city and were often called "cotton mill trash." When the mill endured a labor union strike in the mid-1950s the plant was sold to a larger textile company but the Super's house remained a part of the employment package of the individual who was in essence the CEO of the mill.
When Clyde Rhyne and his family moved into the Super's house to take responsibility for the new textile operation, our community seemed to undergo a transition from gloom and doom to one of optimism.Clyde and his family became active in our community and the church in Tuxedo. He was a very capable Super and well liked by the mill workers. Clyde had a young family and they attended our public school. Even though higher on the social ladder than most of us, they never exhibited a "better than thou" attitude. There were other houses provided for department heads in the mill village. One of the nicest was the one for the Spinning room supervisor which sat on a hill near the mill.
As all good managers, Clyde received a promotion and soon left our community for a larger mill and a new Super came. Harry Iler was his name and a very capable man. He raised his family in the Super's house and ultimately became the last Super to live in that notable house in Tuxedo. When the mill was sold in the mid 1970's Harry became a Realtor and his son now follows in his foot steps.
Cotton mill villages have now all but disappeared. Even in our beloved Tuxedo, only a few of the original homes remain as a remembrance for those of us who were mill village brats. Passing by the Super's house on my walk to school each day I often wondered what this big house looked like inside. Most of our houses were 4 room structures heated with wood heaters and outside toilets. I dare say most of us who grew up in the village never had taken a shower bath until our high school days where after our gym class we were able to shower before returning to class.
For many of us we didn't know there was a better life or a social system that revolved around the rich, the poor and the indignant. For whatever reasons reasons we accepted life as it was and respected all even the Super.